No fries thanks... and no foreign managers either

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No fries thanks... and no foreign managers either

Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton has banned the fast food industry from hiring 457 visa holders for supervisory and managerial jobs.

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Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton has banned the fast food industry from hiring 457 visa holders for supervisory and managerial jobs.

Mr Dutton today scrapped the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement which enabled the sector to hire foreign workers.

“Australian workers, particularly young Australians, must be given priority,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Turnbull government is committed to ensuring that career pathways are available for young Australians. The Coalition government is committed to implementing reforms that strengthen Australia’s skilled migration program to ensure overseas workers supplement rather than provide a substitute for Australian workers.

"Businesses can still make requests under normal labour agreement arrangements to ensure that exceptional circumstances can be considered. Genuine business needs for overseas workers which contribute to economic growth will still be considered.”

According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, today’s decision will not affect existing labour agreements with fast food companies. However, they will not be able to seek a renewal of their labour agreements on expiry or termination.

The jobs affected are: Retail manager – skill level 2 – ANZSCO 142111 and Retail supervisor – skill level 4 – ANZSCO 621511.

Reaction fast… and dismissive


Ged Kearney, the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, welcomed the decision but described it as “entirely ineffectual in the face of the youth unemployment crisis which this country is facing”.

She said there were currently 1.2m workers with temporary working rights in Australia and that the idea that removing 500 foreign workers would fix the youth labour market “is absurd”.

She condemned the move as “fiddling around the margins” after pointing out that there are 651 occupations in the 457 program which include hairdressers, secondary school teachers, café managers “and countless other jobs” that could be filled by young local workers.

Abusing the system


Independent academic, Dr Christopher Wright of the University of Sydney, has researched the 457 skilled worker program. Dr Wright said that the fast-food sector should be giving local residents priority in employment and that the government’s move was “in the right direction”.

“The 457 visa scheme was designed to address shortages of workers qualified to do particular jobs,” Dr Wright said. “Fast-food chains are looking for soft interpersonal skills and they should be able to find these qualifications locally.

“The fast-food sector is currently abusing the 457 visa scheme.”
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